Best of 2022 Here at GDTR

This year we traveled more, we saw more, and I posted more, so this post is long! Even I was worn out by the time I finished putting it together. So, find a comfy chair, scroll through, and click on what seems interesting. (If you want a really quick version, hit up this photo-only recap.)

Our 2022 stops are in purple. (Well, technically, the year begins in yellow down in Arizona). We traveled through Southern California, up the Pacific Coast, east across Canada, down into the Midwest, and zigzagged south to Texas.

I chose what entries to feature here from a database of most-clicked-on entries, but what you choose to read versus my favorites often aren’t the same. So, here’s a combo of both.

Special People

No matter what famous or surprisingly lovely places we visit, to me it’s the people we meet whom I most grateful for.

On Mars with Shana & Marcus

I have to begin any post about 2022 with Mars—aka Imperial Dam Long-term Visitors Center—on the California/Arizona/Mexico border where we spent the winter of 2021-22.

It’s also where we met Shana and Marcus. I didn’t know how important they would be to me so I didn’t blog about them on Mars (hence, the non-Mars link, above). They turned out to be the highlight of that strange place; we laughed and sang there, and then we shared Covid, which is quite a bonding experience even when you’re just feverishly texting each other from your trailers across the sandy desert.

Our friendship grew as they showed us the beaches of Southern California and became guest bloggers. Click here to read about their continuing adventures. I love you guys.

On Mars with Tyll

Tyll and I also met on Mars, and, although we hung out only a few times, he’s a legendary nomad and a good man who looms large in my memories of the year. (Plus, his sweet-as-can-be van tour is still getting views.)

Tyll recently left the road to live in a sticks and bricks, but he and I keep in touch. Rock on, my ukulele-playing, physics-talking, recuperating friend.

Leslie in Ruby, AZ; Melanie & Doug all over the Place

Leslie we met in an old mining town on the Arizona/Mexico border where she’s the caretaker, and she taught me much about the political, natural, and human toll of border life in just our one afternoon together. There’s more to this amazing human than what I mention in this one blog post, and I continue to send her all positive vibes I’ve got. She does good.

We met Doug and Melanie in Southern California in 2021, but we can’t seem to shake them! Seriously, we’re lucky to have kept up with these two insatiable explorers; in 2022 we camped with them in both California and Ohio and will soon in Texas, and we’re planning a trip to Alaska together. Click here to see their guest posts featuring Doug’s profesional-grade photography.

Animal Encounters

Tidal Pools in California & Oregon and Wild Things in Arkansas

As we drove up the California coast from cool spring into cool summer, we stayed at beach campgrounds and learned to poke around at low tide under rocks and in crevices. That’s my new favorite animal-searching activity.

That fall, I kayaked through a bazillion water birds along the Mississippi in Arkansas, which was just as much a wonder.

Special Places

Organ Pipe National Monument, Hoh Rainforest

Organ Pipe was the first place we visited after we left Mars, and Hoh Rainforest was one of the last places we camped before we left the U.S. for Canada. Although they’re each practically the definition of dry and wet, both are amazingly green and beautiful.

From Hecla Island to New Orleans

Here’s another set of extremes from 2022 with a commonality: the indigenous cultures of Manitoba, Canada, and the equally rich history of urban New Orleans.

(This Nola post isn’t really about its people; it’s the first of several posts from our varied week there. Once you’re on that entry, click the buttons at the bottom to scroll around New Orleans.)

Mars and Memphis

We were on Mars (Imperial Dam) for so long that it deserves its own post. It’s totally fitting that this entry has the most hits from 2022.

And that tiny house post is from Memphis; it went viral on the Android WordPress app, getting about 200 hits a day for the last two months of 2022. I’m not thrilled with strangers from around the world reading this blog, but if they’re going to, then at least they’re seeing a post from Memphis, which floored me with its role in American civil rights, music, and food food food.

Places with It All

Our week in Jasper National Park in Canada was nearly perfect. Postcard-style mountain hiking, large animals in the campground, and a special meetup with friends and their families from Canada and New Zealand. The only way it would have been perfect is if Jacqui (the star of this blog, if you didn’t know) had been able to stay longer.

At TCPC, it’s again a combo of a beautiful location surrounded by a variety of friends that makes the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau Campground a best-of week in 2022. Thank you, Sherri and Mooch—we’ll be back, or maybe we’ll see you on the road first!

Friends along the Way

We especially enjoyed time with friends in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Grass Valley, California.

Cool Places

From Glaciers to the Gulf of Mexico

The Trans-Canada Highway, especially the Icefields Parkway on the eastern edge of Jasper National Park, is otherworldly, with glaciers left and right.

And finally we found summer (in December!) when we camped directly on the beach near Galveston, Texas.

My Favorite Posts

These didn’t get a lot of clicks but I enjoyed writing them. The Arkansas one is about simply a fun hour walking the campground, and the tidal pool post I wrote on my tiny phone while sitting on the beach in Northern California. These stand out to me as bookmarks for the year.

My Predictable Person Highlight

I was able to visit Finn only once in 2022 (unless you count upcoming New Year’s Eve when he visits me, hallelujah!). As always, I get all philosophical when I write about our rare visits.

For this post, I was surprised by how many readers expressed appreciation, since I feel like it’s so personal and strange.

That characterizes 2022, actually. And it’s a wrap! Thanks for letting me share it with you.

Coming up in 2023: Finn visits the Airstream! We drive to Alaska! Lots of exclamation marks!

Who knows what will come after that. That’s the part I like the best.

6 thoughts to “Best of 2022 Here at GDTR”

    1. Because you’ve contributed photoshop help, you’ve read nearly every entry, and you often comment with insight. Plus I kind of thought you’d crowned yourself star?